When the $53 billion Disney/20th Century Fox merger was announced in December, many fans rejoiced since it finally brings the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises under the MCU banner, although many wondered what the future held for these franchises. The merger isn't expected to be approved until 2019, and until then, Fox is putting a number of new X-Men projects into development, with a report revealing that the studio is planning on releasing 5 more X-Men movies from what it has already announced with this year's Deadpool 2 and X-Men: Dark Phoenix, along with 2019's New Mutants, all of which have been shot. With two X-Men movies confirmed for this year, Three X-Men movies will arrive in 2019, with another three set for potential release in 2020. And that's not counting two Fantastic Four spin-offs. Here's what an unidentified agent, whose client works on the Fox Marvel movies, had to say about the studio's current position.
"They have to proceed as business as usual in case the merger doesn't go through. It's a unique position to be in."
One of these 2019 X-Men movies is already confirmed to be The New Mutants, which was recently pushed from its April 13, 2018 date to February 22 of next year. This new report reveals that reshoots will get under way this summer, which will insert a brand new character into the thriller, which has been described as the first X-Men "horror movie." Another one of the 2019 movies could very well be X-Force, with director Drew Goddard expected to start filming in October, with Deadpool 2 stars Ryan Reynolds and Josh Brolin reprising their roles as Deadpool and Cable, although no release date was given for X-Force quite yet. The third 2019 movie could be Gambit, which has already been greenlit with an approved budget. The studio is expecting a new draft of the screenplay in March, although a director has not been found yet. Here's what a Fox insider had to say about their X-Men development plans.
"We actually have way more in development and production in Marvel IP than at any point in the history of the studio. There's been zero slowdown on that front given Disney."
The studio is also delving into the Fantastic Four franchise even more, developing a Silver Surfer movie along with a Doctor Doom movie from Fargo and Legion creator Noah Hawley. As for the three potential X-Men movies arriving in 2020, one of them could be the secret X-Men movie known as 143, which has Tim Miller (Deadpool) attached to direct from a screenplay by Marvel Comics legend Brian Michael Bendis, who created characters like Miles Morales, Jessica Jones, Maria Hill and more. When asked about the impending merger will affect his secretive 143 project, Brian Michael Bendis had this to say.
"It does not affect this project in any way, shape or form is what I was told. At least at the moment, it's certainly decisions over my pay-grade if it ends up doing so."
One 20th Century Fox executive summed up the studio's development of their X-Men and Fantastic Four properties by stating, "We're going 100 miles per hour." Still, there is concern about how, when the merger is finalized, Disney will handle 20th Century Fox's successful R-rated franchise Deadpool, given how averse the studio has been towards R-rated fare in the past. You can head on over to The Hollywood Reporter for their full report.